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Fractured Spine : Songs Of Slumber (Anniversary Edition)

Fractured Spine's remastered debut experiments effectively with both Gothic Metal and Death/Doom.

MA lists Finland's Fractured Spine as being experimental Death/Doom Metal, with strong Gothic influences. Which I would say is not exactly the entire truth. I'd actually say, based on 'Songs of Slumber', it's more like 'experimental Gothic Metal with strong Death/Doom influences'. But then again I'm not familiar with their entire catalogue. The band themselves though maintain they draw their main inspiration from outside the world of metal. Really? Must be influences other than musical ones then. (Classical quibbles aside).

Anyway, let's not ruminate too much over genres and styles, for that way madness lies. Fractured Spine have recently given their back catalogue the overhaul that it may or may not have needed, and I am now the proud owner of two copies of 'Songs of Slumber'. One signed by the band, and one still in its shrink wrap. Not having owned a physical copy before, I've no idea if the remastering was worth the time and effort. There are, however, at least two people connected to this site who both claim somewhat confidently that these reissues are a tad more than a lazy boost in loudness.

'Songs of Slumber' announces itself with the childlike sound of a musical box before the solitary whispered vocal of "awaken" heralds the full score. Initially my ears pricked up at this point and I grabbed the inlay hoping to find verse after verse filled with existential angst and musings on the modern dilema facing mankind. Namely to go from a state of innocence and na´vetÚ, to knowledge of the Truth and gain liberation from the mundane. Alas no, 'Songs of Slumber' is another Gothic Metal/Rock album packed with tales of unrequited love, loneliness, death, and possible redemption. But for what it is, it's actually very, good.

Lifting the very best elements of nicely-produced Black, Gothic, and Epic sounding Metal, along with fairly sporadic moments of Death/Doom, Fractured Spine deliver the goods in suitably well-polished fashion and there's something in this delivery that elevates it above much in its field. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing here that's reinventing the wheel. It's more a case of deriving pleasure from an already thoroughly decent sounding wheel. Terrible analogy. It's probably worth noting as well, that although 'Songs of Slumber' came out in 2013, it could easily have been released anytime in the last 15 years to equal praise and commendation. For the purposes of this site, the Death/Doom passages, few though they are, are rather good, and one wonders what the album might have sounded like with more of them to savour.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. ...To Cross The River Of...
2. Acheron
3. 11
4. In The Shade
5. Restless
6. ...Empty Words...
7. Venor Trucido
8. She Died
9. Blood Red Dawn
10. Zoar

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes

Visit the Fractured Spine bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-11-09 by Matt Halsey
Aesthetic Death
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